Army chaplains struggle to support soldiers in Burkina Faso conflict

From Sam Mednick at Associated Press:

In interviews in the Center-North and in Ouagadougou, the capital, military chaplains told The Associated Press that they are stretched thin by the unprecedented conflict and what assistance they are able to provide through phone calls and prayer services is insufficient.

Just seven chaplains, hailing from Protestant, Catholic and Muslim faiths, are charged with spiritually advising some 11,000 soldiers and helping maintain their morale. The army has not devoted what little resources it has for them to embed with units, and they say the distance only makes it harder to keep soldiers motivated.

The troops “face death every day. … At this moment they also need to have much more spiritual help,” said Noel Henri Zongo, a chaplain and Catholic priest.

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